Pipe excited by huge potential 
of Kings Palace

THE sky is the limit for unbeaten novice chaser Kings Palace, according to top trainer David Pipe.

Kings Palace (right) ridden by Tom Scudamore on their way to victory in the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices´ Chase last Friday. Picture: David Davies/PA.

He was speaking after the seven-year-old course specialist made it two wins from two starts over fences with a stellar performance at Cheltenham on Friday under Tom Scudamore.

However, Kings Palace will bypass the Feltham Novices Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, even though Pipe has previously trained the now-retired Grands Crus and stable star Dynaste to win this Grade One race for three-mile novice chasers.

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Instead Britain’s top novice could reappear at Newbury in February before a tilt at the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

“I cannot disguise how pleased I was with the performance of Kings Palace,” said Pipe last night.

“He had already surpassed expectations with his bold jumping debut at the track the previous month, but even so there were still some doubters who thought Sausalito Sunrise might reverse the four-length margin of victory on 8lb better terms.”

Pipe said he was impressed by how well his horse measured the fences in such fluent style, jumping “magnificently” to increase the winning margin over his old foe to seven lengths.

“His jumping was hard to fault and that will stand him in good stead when further questions are asked of him,” said Pipe.

“Although we have a good recent record in the race with the victories of Grands Crus and Dynaste, Kings Palace will not run in the Feltham on Boxing Day at Kempton – it will come too soon for him.

“Instead we will look to find a prep race for the Festival away from Cheltenham (where he has had his last five starts) in the new year.

“At this point, though, the sky really does look to be the limit for him.”

Although Grands Crus never won another race after beating the likes of Silviniaco Conti, Bobs Worth and Mr Moonshine in the 2011 Feltham, Dynaste won the race 12 months later and enjoyed his finest hour when winning last season’s Ryanair Chase in scintillating style.

It speaks volumes of the confidence of connections that they regard Kings Palace as possibly being the best of the triumvirate, although the horse’s one disappointing performance came at this year’s National Hunt Festival when, already well beaten, he fell at the last in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle.

Meanwhile, Barry Geraghty, who won this year’s Stan James Champion Hurdle on Jezki, believes The New One could be the horse to beat in next March’s 

Geraghty was impressed with the manner in which the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained hurdler handled his obstacles – and then accelerated clear of the field on the run-in.

“It was impossible not to be impressed with the win of The New One,” he observed on his At The Races blog.

“You can’t know what would have happened when he got badly hampered in last season’s Champion Hurdle but he’s holding a very high level of form at the moment.

“Vaniteux wasn’t best suited by the ground, but I’m not saying he’d have beaten The New One even if the going had been better.”

Plans are being finalised for next year’s Middleham open day on April 3 – Good Friday.

The two main charity beneficiaries from the event will be the Jessica Bethell Charitable Foundation, in memory of the daughter of James Bethell, the chairman of Middleham Trainers’ Association, and The Household Cavalry Foundation.